Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gary Ross won't direct 'Catching Fire'

Gary Ross, who went to great lengths to secure the job of directing the movie version of Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games," will not be back for the sequel.

Although the 55-year-old Academy Award nominee spoke as recently as last month about tentative plans to move forward with work on "Catching Fire," the second installment in Collins' trilogy. "We're figuring out the details ... and we're working on a screenplay with Simon Beaufoy," he told the Observer in Los Angeles in early March.

As published on Entertainment Weekly's website late last night, here is Ross' statement on his decision to leave the franchise:

Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.

I loved making The Hunger Games – it was the happiest experience of my professional life. Lionsgate was supportive of me in a manner that few directors ever experience in a franchise: they empowered me to make the film I wanted to make and backed the movie in a way that requires no explanation beyond the remarkable results. And contrary to what has been reported, negotiations with Lionsgate have not been problematic. They have also been very understanding of me through this difficult decision.

I also cannot say enough about the people I worked with: Producer Nina Jacobson, a great collaborator and a true friend; the brilliant Suzanne Collins, who entrusted us with her most amazing and important story; the gifted and remarkable Jennifer Lawrence whose performance exceeded my wildest expectations, and the rest of the incredible cast, whom I am proud to call my friends.

To the fans I want to say thank you for your support your faith, your enthusiasm and your trust. Hard as this may be to understand I am trying to keep that trust with you. Thank you all. It’s been a wonderful experience.


Lionsgate issued this response:

We’re very sorry that Gary Ross has chosen not to direct Catching Fire. We were really looking forward to making the movie with him. He did an incredible job on the first film and we are grateful for his work. This will not be the end of our relationship, as we consider Ross to be part of the Lionsgate family and look forward to working with him in the future.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

So bascially Ross said he needed more time to make a quality sequal and the studio said screw that we got money to make and need this doen quickly.

Anonymous said...

Tick Tock

Anonymous said...

To 9:56...the deal is that Lawrence needs to do the sequel by date XX because of contractual obligations for another separate film and that was not enough time to develop this screenplay (from the book) for this sequel.

Anonymous said...

There are 3 books---Why could the screenplay not be in the process of "development" before now?

Anonymous said...

I wasn't a fan of Ross' direction in Hunger Games anyway. I thought a lot of the pacing was off and many scenes seemed clunkier than they should have been.

Leslie said...

If J Lawrence is still gonna be on the sequel then there's no problem. =P


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Vanessa Zighelboim said...

Oh, but Gary Ross did cut an amazing job with the Hunger Games. I was hoping he would direct the second one, too. Why is he not directing it? Do you think that Lawrence will do a good job with it? Just wondering, I don't really know who he is...

Vanessa Zighelboim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vanessa Zighelboim said...
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